Visakhapatnam: Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again drew flak for his slow strike-rate against Australia in the first T20 International as India succumbed to a three wicket defeat in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
Dhoni managed 29 off 37 balls in India's below-par 126 for 7 on a track where the ball was not coming onto the bat. To be fair to Dhoni, a clutch of wickets fell and he also had to stem the rot with Yuzvendra Chahal at the other end.
KL Rahul provided a fiery start for the hosts but following his dismissal, Australia kept the middle order under leash led by Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Dhoni could manage to score only a solitary six in his timid 37-ball cameo where he ended up with 29 runs. Despite consuming a lot of deliveries early on, the veteran failed to switch gears during the death overs. His poor strike rate once again became a heated topic of discussion and Twitterati did not hold back from criticising him.
MS Dhoni is a great batsman who has played many knocks for the winning cause.
Sometimes for India, sometimes for the opposition.— Pakchikpak Raja Babu (@HaramiParindey) February 24, 2019
Dhoni is hitting towards fielders every ball just to check which fielder is weak, so he could utilize it in World Cup. Legend! #INDvAUS— 𝐒𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐏𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐭 (@FarziCricketer) February 24, 2019
Two players perform as per expectations these days.
Dhoni will give you dots, Umesh won't.— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) February 24, 2019
Let's not forget the 10+ runs which Dhoni let off by not running, and not hitting big ones either. #IndvsAus— Venkataraman (@venky88) February 24, 2019
Dhoni striking under 100 in a T20. Such a surprise! Lol. He's finished with the bat. #INDvAUS— No clean sheets FC (@sull_noronha) February 24, 2019
— Akshay Hegde (@AAkshayHegde) February 24, 2019
Dhoni! Please retire or call in sick we don't want you in that flight to England for world cup. Please dont ruin all the good memories of past. #INDvAUS— Vikash Kumar (@vikashkmr138) February 24, 2019
A profligate Umesh Yadav undid all the good work done by Jasprit Bumrah as Australia edged out India by three wickets in a last-ball thriller.
With 14 required off the last over, Umesh was hit for a boundary each by Jhye Richardson and Pat Cummins, who had identical scores of 7 not out as they reached the target of 127 off the last delivery of the match.
This was after Japrit Bumrah (3/16 in 4 overs) bowled an incredible 19th over to bring India back in the match just when it was looking that Australia would canter home.
He got Peter Handscomb with a short ball and then yorked Nathan Coulter-Nile after having dismissed Aaron Finch in his first spell.
However it was Australia;'s tail-enders, who held the nerve getting the couple required couple of runs off the final delivery of the innings....